Do you ever wonder why you find screws laying on the floor of your RV after a long road trip? When was the last time you checked the balance of your RV’s tires? When was the last time you bought something that, #1, worked and, #2, you never had to maintain? Just bolt it on and forget it!
Well, here is a great DIY bolt-on project that will eliminate the need to worry about RV tire balancing ever again.
We have personally used this product for 5 years now and believe it’s a great DIY addition to your RV, travel trailer, or tow vehicle. Centramatic Dynamic Balancers provide a simple way to ensure your RV’s running gear is always balanced.
A properly balanced wheel decreases wear on tires, hubs, and bearings. Increased fuel economy and reduced vibration are also benefits. Vibration in an RV or travel trailer is the main cause of those screws backing out and things getting loose. Eliminating this vibration will help ensure your RV rides smooth as silk and stays together in the process.
What the heck is a Centramatic Dynamic Balancer? Well, Dynamic Balancers are a bolt-on flat disk that contains a hollow tubular ring on the outside edge. This tubular ring is filled with oil and weighed shot. The disk is ordered to match your wheel’s lug nut pattern and is sandwiched between the hub assembly and wheel.
Their purpose is to provide a “dynamic” onboard solution to balance the wheel, tire, and running gear through the centrifugal force produced while they roll down the road. The “Dynamic” part means that the weight in the ring is movable and can adjust its position to accommodate the everchanging conditions of the running gear. As the weighted shot shifts its position inside the hollow ring, it counteracts an unbalanced situation.
If the point of balance shifts because you pick up a rock in the tire tread, the weighed shot shifts to counteract it. This ensures that your entire running gear is always balanced. Watch the demonstration video here.
A well-balanced tire is a happy tire. Using these balancers increases traction and therefore safety by allowing the tire to maintain better contact with the road surface. They reduce rolling resistance, allowing the tire to run cooler, wear less, and therefore last longer. This will save you money.
Who uses them?
The most common use for these type onboard balancers have been 18-wheelers and heavy-duty trucks, but over the last few years, they have started to become more popular and prevalent in the light-duty truck, RV and travel trailer markets. RV and travel trailer owners are starting to realize the benefits of maintaining well-balanced running gear.
We were introduced to the product through a fellow RVer who had been pleased with his experience with them so we gave them a try and couldn’t be happier. We have them installed on our Airstream as well as our GMC 2500 Tow vehicle.
The old way
The traditional method of balancing tires at a tire shop is attaching a fixed counterweight to the wheel works, but this only balances the tire and wheel in its current state.
This method of balancing does not account for tire wear or the rest of the running gear. The normal balancing process includes the tires and wheels, not the brake drums or hubs.
This means you can mount a perfectly balanced tire to an unbalanced drum or hub and then your whole system is out of balance again. Also, the fixed weights applied to the rim can come off during travel causing the tire to become unbalanced. Balancing using only the traditional method means that your tires will need to be checked and rebalanced regularly. Who’s got time for that?
The new way
Centramatic Dynamic Balancers are a simple bolt-on system that provides a constantly adjusting way to balance your entire running gear. We still had our tires balanced the traditional way when installed, but the addition of our Centramatic balancers fine-tuned and maintained our tires’ balance.
With the Centramatics installed we can be assured that our entire running gear is balanced and running smooth as silk. It is nice to know that we can expect better fuel economy, longer tire life, better traction, better ride, and increased performance overall from a simple bolt-on accessory. They’re available on their website and from Amazon for about $180-200.
Feel free to reach out if you have questions and don’t forget to follow us @Airstream_Nuts_and_Bolts on Instagram for our most current travel and project information.